'I know the music business wants this to succeed as much as we do': BBC Music boss Bob Shennan talks Sounds Like Friday Night

'I know the music business wants this to succeed as much as we do': BBC Music boss Bob Shennan talks Sounds Like Friday Night

BBC Music boss Bob Shennan has said new primetime TV show Sounds Like Friday Night is bringing music "into the heart of the BBC One schedule". 

Hosted by Radio 1's Greg James and 1Xtra's Dotty, the programme debuts at 7.30pm this Friday, featuring star host Jason Derulo and performers Charlie Puth and Jessie Ware. 

Produced by Carpool Karaoke producer Fulwell 73, the six-part series is the channel's first weekly music show since Top Of The Pops, which was taken off the air in 2006.

“I know [the music business] want this to succeed as much as we do," Shennan told Music Week. "The industry has constantly pushed the BBC to do more for music - and we want to - but there’s no point in us doing it if it doesn’t work for the audience.

"If no one watches it then we’re just wasting money, so we’ve got to find a way of making music work on television."

The weekly format will feature three artists - one of whom will serve as the star host - four performances and a number of VT's. Liam Payne, Liam Gallagher and London Grammar have been confirmed for episode two. 

“We want to bring music into the heart of the BBC One schedule and make it work," said Shennan. "The days when the BBC was the only place offering access to today’s contemporary performers have gone. We’re in the internet age and there are 1,000 different places where people can watch music performances, so we’ve got to create something that is a really great televisual experience.”

Shennan said a Top Of The Pops-style programme would simply not work in 2017 due to changes in the public's music consumption habits. “What happened over the years with Top Of The Pops was just a decline in resonance and - had it not been stopped because of the number of alternative ways in which people can consume music visually - I’m sure that decline would have continued,” he said.

“What’s really important is that we continue to back music performance because we think it’s of real value to audiences. But we need to give them something more than just performance."

With Fulwell 73 at the wheel, Shennan is hopeful the show can provide some viral moments. "That's an important part of it and an important part of why Fulwell are doing this," he said.

"It's easy to say, 'We're going to have some viral smashes'; it's very hard to deliver them. We want to ride the enthusiasm people have for consuming on-demand, short form content in lots of different spaces. It's an important development of the format."


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